‘Bel Ami’ 2012 trailer: Robert Pattinson as Guy de Maupassant’s ambitious sex animal
Centered on Robert Pattinson as Guy de Maupassant’s sexually alluring antihero Georges Duroy, the good-looking Bel Ami trailer is out.
Instead of the very young Kristen Stewart, in Bel Ami the Twilight movies’ vampire Edward Cullen “makes love to” (i.e., has sex with) a more mature Kristin Scott Thomas and a whole array of other females of varying ages, shapes, and civil/social statuses.
British stage veterans/film newcomers Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod directed this latest movie adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s classic 1885 novel about impoverished but ambitious ex-soldier Georges Duroy, who uses his drive, his wit, and his penis to get ahead in life.
Some will call Duroy a man-whore, but that’s merely hypocrisy mixed with envy. After all, men (and women) must sell their wares in every profession. Only the willfully self-deluded choose to believe otherwise.
And then there’s the fact that most men don’t look like Robert Pattinson and don’t get to frolic in bed with women who look like Duroy’s conquests. See below.
Bel Ami trailer, with Robert Pattinson as an English-accented French ex-soldier who presciently, pragmatically, and quite dramatically warns those around him that “there’s no next life. And I am going to live.” In the here and now, that is.
‘Bel Ami’ vs. ‘Chéri’
Comparisons between Bel Ami and Stephen Frears’ critical and box office flop Chéri, about the affair between an older courtesan (Michelle Pfeiffer) and the titular younger man (Rupert Friend), are off the mark.
Although it’s true that both Bel Ami and Chéri are period pieces based on classic French novels – set at the dawn of the 20th century, Colette’s Chéri came out in 1920 – Rupert Friend’s privileged loverboy is radically different from Pattinson’s starved Georges Duroy.
And so are the plot lines of both novels/films, with Chéri sharing several elements in common with Alexandre Dumas fils’ The Lady with the Camellias a.k.a. Camille.
Bel Ami, for its part, has more in common with Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Dangerous Liaisons, coincidentally a 1988 Stephen Frears-Michelle Pfeiffer effort that earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination, in addition to nods for supporting player Pfeiffer and lead actress Glenn Close.
And finally, Bel Ami also has quite a bit in common with Maurine Dallas Watkins’ thoroughly 20th century play Chicago (especially Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 silent film adaptation toplining Phyllis Haver) and Alfred E. Green’s Baby Face, a 1933 pre-Code classic in which Barbara Stanwyck uses her drive, her wit, and her physical attributes to reach the top of the corporate ladder.
‘Bel Ami’ movies
Long before Robert Pattinson, among cinema’s previous versions of Guy de Maupassant’s Bel Ami are:
- Willi Forst’s Bel Ami (1939), starring Forst himself in the title role. Also in the cast: Olga Tschechowa, Ilse Werner, and Hilde Hildebrand.
- Albert Lewin’s The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), starring future Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner George Sanders (All About Eve, 1950) – 40/41 years old at the time – as Georges Duroy. Also in the cast: Angela Lansbury, Ann Dvorak, and Frances Dee.
- Louis Daquin’s French-language Bel Ami (1955), featuring Jean Danet in the title role. Also in the cast: Anne Vernon, Renée Faure, and Marianne Schönauer.
- Also directed by Louis Daquin, the 1955 German-language version of the story, Bel-Ami Der Frauenheld von Paris, featured veteran Dutch actor Johannes Heesters – in his early 50s at the time – as the French social climber. Also in the cast: Gretl Schörg, Maria Emo, and the French version’s Marianne Schönauer.
This Bel Ami clip features Clotilde de Marelle (Christina Ricci) making the mistake of telling boyfriend Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) that the rosy-cheeked Suzanne Rousset (Holliday Grainger) is worth 13 million francs.
‘Bel Ami’ cast
Besides Robert Pattinson, Best Actress Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient, 1996), Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, 1994), and Christina Ricci, the R-rated Bel Ami also features the following:
Christina Ricci. Kristin Scott Thomas. Colm Meaney. Natalie Tena. Holliday Grainger. Pip Torrens. James Lance. Todd Peterson.
Rachel Bennette adapted Guy de Maupassant’s novel.
‘Bel Ami’ release dates
Bel Ami is scheduled to open on March 9 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The film will also be screened on Feb. 22 at the Glasgow Film Festival, the day before it opens in Portugal.
Bel Ami opens in Brazil on June 22; in France, on June 27. No set dates as yet for the United States.
Also, on Jan. 2 and 3, Belgium’s Kinepolis chain will feature sneak previews of Bel Ami at several theaters in Antwerp, Bruges, and a handful of other cities. These are part of Kinepolis’ “Ladies at the Movies” screenings – described as “an evening without men but with a top film.”
Update: The Kinepolis screenings notwithstanding, Bel Ami will have its official World Premiere – out of competition – on Feb. 17 at the 2012 Berlinale.
Further update: In the U.S., Bel Ami will be available on VOD on May 4. Magnolia Pictures will distribute the period drama in U.S. theaters on June 8.
Robert Pattinson movies
In addition to Bel Ami, Robert Pattinson will be seen in two more 2012 releases:
- David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis is supposed to come out sometime in late 2012. Also in the cast: Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method), Juliette Binoche (Caché / Hidden), Paul Giamatti (Sideways), Samantha Morton (Minority Report), Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), and Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). Update: Cosmopolis will be screened in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
- In November, Pattinson will be back as the vampire Edward Cullen in Bill Condon’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the final installment in the Twilight movie franchise. Kristen Stewart (who may also be at Cannes with Walter Salles’ On the Road) and Taylor Lautner co-star. Also in the Breaking Dawn 2 cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Booboo Stewart, Maggie Grace, and Billy Burke.
Bel Ami scene shows Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) confronting his older lover Virginie Rousset (Kristin Scott Thomas), the bourgeois, sex-and-romance-starved wife of Monsieur Rousset (Colm Meaney) and the mother of Suzanne Rousset (Holliday Grainger).
Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman & Christina Ricci: Current & upcoming movies
Kristin Scott Thomas is featured with Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor in Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen, which opened a few weeks ago in the United States.
Having replaced Juliette Binoche, Scott Thomas should next be seen in François Ozon’s thriller In the House / Dans la maison, playing opposite Emmanuelle Seigner and Denis Menochet.
Christina Ricci’s next will possibly be Sarah Spillane’s Around the Clock, while Uma Thurman has three movies lined up:
- Oliver Stone’s all-star Savages, with John Carter star Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Demián Bichir, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Joel David Moore, Mia Maestro, and Trevor Donovan.
- Gabriele Muccino’s Playing the Field, with Gerard Butler, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Dennis Quaid.
- The omnibus all-star comedy Movie 43, with Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Bell, Seann William Scott, Kate Bosworth, Chloë Grace Moretz, Anna Faris, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere, Josh Duhamel, Justin Long, and Liev Schreiber.
Uma Thurman on ‘ubiquitous’ Robert Pattinson question
Jan. 11 update: “To answer the ubiquitous question about this movie, yes, Robert is good-looking in person, but he doesn’t have that diamond-sparkle skin like in those Dracula movies,” Uma Thurman recently told Harper’s Bazaar UK.
The movie in question is Bel Ami, the Robert in question is Robert Pattinson, and the “Dracula movies” in question are – one assumes – the Twilight movies that have turned Pattinson into a household name.
In the same interview, Thurman added that Pattinson is “a very disciplined, very serious, very ambitious, very organized actor.” Perhaps it’s no coincidence that his Bel Ami character is also quite disciplined, serious, ambitious, and organized (and horny).
That’s ex-soldier Georges Duroy, who, through his good looks, sexual prowess, and mathematical cunning, manages to rise to the heights of 19th century Parisian society. (If the sign above Pattinson’s head – see further below – doesn’t look too French, that’s probably because Bel Ami was partly shot in Budapest.)
19th-century French corsets & 21st-century Hollywood ageism
About her character, Madeleine Forestier, one of the many women in the life of Georges Duroy, Uma Thurman chose not to delve too deeply into her psyche: “It was a fun character, a nice, meaty, dramatic role, and who doesn’t love an excuse to wear a corset?”
And finally, regarding her own Hollywood career, Thurman told Harper’s UK:
There’s a lot of aggressive talk in this business. You turn 18 and they say you won’t have a career at 20. You turn 24 and they say you won’t last till you’re 30. Now it’s like, if I’m so over, why are you talking to me now?
Feb. 16 update: Robert Pattinson fans can watch online the live streaming Bel Ami photocall/press conference and red carpet arrivals at the Berlin Film Festival on Friday, Feb. 17, at, respectively, 1:45 p.m. and – to be confirmed – 6:45 p.m. local time. (Photocall/press conference: 7:45 a.m. EST; red carpet: 12:45 p.m. EST.)
Other Berlinale live streams this Friday are those for Kim Nguyen’s War Witch / Rebelle and Tsui Hark’s Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Both films are part of the Berlin festival’s Official Competition.
Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman Bel Ami images: The Bel Ami Facebook page.
Bel Ami trailer, clips, and poster featuring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, Holliday Grainger, and Colm Meaney: RAI Cinema / 19 Entertainment / Redwave Films.
“Bel Ami Trailer 2012: Robert Pattinson Realizes Sex Is Most Effective Social-Climbing Gear” last updated in June 2018.
I find myself being dismayed that this poster does not feature Holliday Grainger’s name anywhere on it. I see her as being one of the stars of this film, but it seems the publicity paints her in an alternate light.
The film sucks big ones and everyone knows it. Back to the drawing board Rob.
@ Sharona I Agree 100% ! The U.S. is waiting for Bel Ami. What is up with Sony anyway?? Many sites, as IMDb have the release date as TODAY, Yet no information is available from Sony Pictures. I am sure the movie will make them a Bundle, so many Pattinson fans are waiting for it! Are they waiting to release it right before Breaking Dawn 2 in Nov.?? R Pattinson also has Cosmopolis coming out in 2012…WHAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR?????
I am at a complete loss as to why Sony Pictures have the rights to Bel Ami yet for some reason seem to refuse to give out even a release date for this film in the US. Why are they holding back? What is the problem? All other countries are showing release dates yet Sony is just completely ignoring it. If they have no plans to release it in the US, why don’t they sell the rights to another studio? There are MANY of us in the US who are dying to see this film!!!! What’s going on???
Let’s continue to encourage critics to elevate the conversation. Reviews which reference performance using the words “emptiness” and “ladykilling for dummies” does no one any good, except maybe the author giving self-referential praise to himself for cleverness. I think everyone should give more thought to the time, money, and effort which is put into movie making. Expectations be damned, (for Rob Pattinson), isn’t there a learning curve for most actors and actresses? Rob is already a beloved man, he would not have received many accolades without some degree of talent and likability. Rob is sexually attractive to many, the perceptions are based on physical attraction or qualities in the context in which they appear. His image is also inspiring, due to qualities like boldness, authenticity and presence. Bel Ami has to be worthwhile for the historical, period piece that it is. Rob Pattinson has said that french literature is his favorite; I would think that fact would influcence his effort to make Bel Ami true to the book, and enjoyable on screen. He should be commended for stretching (not doing only romantic comedies) and treated with respect. Also remember that movies are a collaborative endeavor, the directors were inexperienced, camera angles not the best and the script could have been impoved.
It sad that Critics are completly ignoring the fact that Rob played George exactly how George was in the Book. Lynnette is right…I personally wish Critics would read the Book before they make a review..I also would like Rob to play a character, not based on a Book. Wonder what critics would say than
One last note before I get banned from this site lol
At the Bel ami press conference in Berlin a french speaking canadien journaliste who’s an expert in Guy de Maupassant’s literary work and who has given several classes about Bel ami has congratulated the panel for the authenticity of the movie qua story, setting and characters (mentioned Georges!).
She didn’t need to do this, she could just present herself and ask her question. She did it because she meant what she said.
That was a big compliment for the film makers and the actors.
@ Lynette Perkes.
I wholeheartedly agree with your vision on Georges Duroy. Unfortunately my aknowledge of English is too limited to express myself as eloquently as you did.
When, in my comment, I spoke about the opposite thoughts and feelings of Georges I ment what you wrote. He was constantly trying to learn how to behave in the high society, taking nasty comments in the beginning but rancunously (right sp?) taking revenge afterwards.
I’m afraid many critics will look at the movie the same way Chang did.
The problem with Robert Pattinson is that he plays his roles so natural that critics think that it’s him, not his character. He performed ‘wooden’ in Twilight while it was the character Edward who acted restraint all the time.
In WFE Rob was also ‘too quiet, also wooden’ but his character Jacob was quiet, observatif.
Now it will be this. lol
It is true though that there is a slight overacting sometimes, but I notice this in the performances of many actors, even the big ones.
Acting is a continue learning process, for actors and their directors.
Gravitas isn’t the only word that should be banned lol.
What keeps bothering me in such named professional reviews is the continually refering to former works of the actors. In case of Robert Pattinson it’s the Twilight references and the sneers to the Twilight teen audience.
Robert Pattinson has a huge adult fanbase of which the majority, surprisingly enough LOL, is well educated. Apart from his good looks they most of all appreciate his intelligence and humble, gentle personality.
That said, I’ve read the book and I’ve seen the movie. I liked the adaptation very much, It stayed true to the book and the setting in Belle Epoque Paris was done very beautifully.
The character of Georges Duroy can be discussed to no end, depending of each reader’s perception of him. For me Rob performed well the different, often opposite thoughts and feelings of Georges, which isn’t easy to bring on screen for an audience that might not have read the book. And he did it convincingly IMO.
The fact that at the age of 23 he prefered to take the lead in a risky adaptation of a french classic instead of choosing the superficial romcoms deserve respect.
We all know though that Rob will have to pay for his sudden succes and unwillingly sex-symbol status. For many critics he will have to earn his place in HW and that will take time.
I don’t agree with the miscasting of Kristen ST, I thought she was wonderful in her role as devote, neurotic lady, so madly in love with the one man who makes her feel a real woman.
The movie isn’t flawless as no movie is, when put under a microscope. The fact that it’s the director’s first movie can explain why there might be a bit overacting now and then. Donellan is known for his theatratical work and that’s a whole different matter than working with camera’s. On stage actors have to overact for the distant audience, a camera doesn’t need this.
I forgive him, he did a good job by staying true to the story, ending included.
Cineuropa gave an excellent review of Bel ami and I agree much more with their point of views that with the ones I’ve read from American reviews thus far.
Chang seems to have completely missed the story arc. Duroy is not “the sort of self-styled gentleman who should theorietically be able to to stroll into a room and mesmerize everyone in it……” Not at the start. He is a very young working-class man, barely educated, suddenly thrown into upper class society whose complex ways he does not understand. He’s trying to cross a social chasm almost impossible to bridge, in nineteenth century Europe, with no preparation whatever. He doesn’t know what upper-class dinner conversation should consist of, let alone which fork to use. He’s winging it every second. Chang complains that “He seems to be constantly referring to mental notes from “Ladykilling for dummies.” That is EXACTLY what George Duroy is doing. He’s inventing himself as he goes along, doing what he imagines a ladykiller would do. Even after he gains more experience , he keeps finding he didn’t really understand what was going on-that the people he thinks he’s scamming have conned him, instead. Pattison was playing the complex character the movie was actually about, not the simplistic lounge lizard Chang wanted him to play.
CRITICS WILL NOT PAN COSMOPOLIS-IF DIRECTOR CRONENBERG THINKS ACTOR ROBERT PATTINSON IS A GREAT ACCTOR THEN HE IS.ROBERT PATTINSON NEEDED THE RIGHT ROLE WITH THE RIGHT DIRECTOR TO SHOW OFF HIS ACTING CHOPS. MOVIE BEL AMI AS FILMED WHEN HE WAS JUST 23-ADULT AUDIENCES WILL LOVE BEL AMI-IT WILL BE A SUCCESS IN THE US -AND ABROAD-ACTOR ROBERT PATTINSON HAS A HUGH ADULT FAN BASE .
alone from this Trailer you can feel the Emotion running high..the way he expression turns around when he realizes that Kristen has something to tell him about her husband..right after he is so cruel..the scene in the church…oh mei.
It’s good to see these scenes again. I watched Bel ami at a prescreening in Belgium and enjoyed the movie a lot. The decors and costumes are very beautiful. In the cabaret you could imagine Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, sitting there, drinking his beer.
The story is so actual: ambitious people using others to climb the social ladder and getting away with it, the intrigues in political and journalistic environments. It was all there in 1885 and it is still here now.
I thought Rob Pattinson did an excellent job by bringing Georges Duroy from book to screen. His evolution from a poor uncertain but ambitious guy to a powerful, unscrupulous man, taking revenge on his own way to people who used him, is remarkable.
All performances from the leading ladies were very strong, but especially Kristin ST was incredible and stole most scenes she was in. I don’t think I’m biased though by saying that Rob held his own against such talented actresses.
The big Belgian cinema group Kinepolis organizes every month an event called Ladies @the Movies. The movie ticket is a bit more expensive. The evening starts with a reception with drinks and snacks, you can by clothes or jewelry, sometimes there’s a catwalk, you can also win some prices. After that they show a movie that appeals to a female audience. Every woman can participate, you only have to book in time your tickets. This month it was Bel ami and the theatres were pretty sold out. Most movies they show on events like this are prescreenings.
Are these private or public screenings? I don’t know, I’d say public.
Hmm, Bel Ami hasn’t shown anywhere and Berlinale is becoming the festival that will take anything. Could be. For women only fan screenings overseas? Is anyone putting it out here?
I saw Bel ami recently in Belgium and foud it a very good movie. The costumes and the decors were stunning, very Parisian too. Even the prostitutes looked the way Henri Toulouse Lautrec would’ve painted them. This period movie is far different from what we know as Jane Ausen films though. The story is great, after more than 120 years it’s still very actual. Robert Pattinson and his ladies gave strong performances. Their relationships take away a bit the attentiond for the French political situation at that time and the dubious connections between politicians and journalists. It is in the movie but you get distracted by Georges and his manipulations. What gives a good reason though to give Bel ami a second watch once it hits theatres.
I agree witht Uma about this hollywood’s ”predictions” when actor gets some age it means it’s finished.
dear Page….I have nothing to add, but I need to thank you
Excellent comments, Page. Thank you. I really liked your statement:
Paradoxically, it is the very doubts, fears and ‘humanity’ that all creatives feel, that is the fuel and portal through which they can connect with a role . . .
I am a writer, you see, and fear, doubt and I are old friends. Anyway, I cannot wait for Bel Ami and Cosmopolis for a few reasons. One, I am not such a huge Twilight fan (I know, sorry, but I must be honest.) though I did love watching Rob and went to the films to support him.
I think his talent goes far beyond Twilight and we see more depth with Remember Me, which I loved, or Water For Elephants, which I liked very much.
Now, let’s bring on George Duroy! Waiting for a Toronto release date.
@Page Mackinley: fantastic comment. all of it.
also to the author of the post. the man-whore and Cheri comparisons have come out so your thoughtful (and less bitter) remarks nailed it for me as well.
Page Mackinley, standing o. Brilliant. Thank you for voicing what so many of us more mature fans (I’m 36) of both Rob and Kristen have been voicing since the beginning. I am excited to see where their inner compasses take them.
Belgium will be the first country to show the movie in avantpremiere on January 3 during the Ladies@the Movies night, an event organised monthly by Kinepolis a multicinemaplex groupe.
Looking at this trailer it won’t disappoint at all.
I hope and am quite sure that the film makers didn’t change the ending. It happened in the past but the ending is just what makes it real and still so actual: people doing everything to attain their goal and getting away with it.
Present company excepted, it’s interesting watching some critics bend themselves around the reality that they don’t define or get to tell the market what they should enjoy or support. Stephanie Meyers books hooked a nation — but Pattinson and Stewart did the rest.
It really has been extraordinary watching Pattinson in particular navigate his way through a notoriously difficult industry and the complications that must have attended. One can only imagine the countless times, Pattinson may have wished he could clarify, change or do-over certain aspects of his experience, but through it all he has remained authentic. And it is that quality that is the real touchstone of why people have reacted to him as they have.
Media, being the soundbite merchant that it is loves to rhapsody about teen “rabid fans” or “menopausal moms” as being the (undiscerning) extent of audience-goers interested in Pattinson. Certainly these are present — and their money’s as good as anyone’s — but they are not the whole picture.
I am a mid-30’s screenplay writer from the UK who loves movies and complex characters, but I have seen little in recent years in terms of actually interesting, fresh ‘screen presence’ that has impressed me as much as Pattinson has. Do his looks have something to do with that? Of course. But wasn’t it the same with Newman, Taylor (Elizabeth), Redford and Bogarde — amongst others?
Reverse prejudice based on Pattinson’s physical appeal are both limited and churlishly motivated, especially considering Pattinson did not enter the fray thinking a great deal of himself, and further, whose previous roles did not play up that component. Looks may get you a knock on the door, but only talent and depth holds interest. Megan Fox, case in point.
Movie-making isn’t just big business, it’s epic monster-making business. Funded by financiers who make the Koch brothers look like Greenpeace activists, Pattinson (and Stewart’s) teams made canny business decisions to position their ‘talents’ in a film which — if it worked — would advance their charges considerably in the player stakes.
That no-one could have anticipated the ensuing success would become as exponential as it has, is now the topic of countless talking-heads and avid note-taking by other agents. It’s probably a tad sweeping to say it comes down to one or even two factors, but really it’s self-evident.
As we close out 2011, Patterson and Stewart — deservedly — emerge as the names to watch and invest in. Undeniably, the presence and depth both brought to their roles elevated an over-mined genre. Add an outstanding supporting cast, innovative soundtracks and scores, plus what can only be described as hardcore promotion on multiple levels, a great solid base to start with (due to Meyer’s previous book success) to the mix — and one arrives at the TS phenomenon.
Unassailable fact: A relatively inexperienced young man with no discernible media training, or seemingly any desire to be the next typical ‘star-from-a pod,’ stormed America with a charm inoffensive not seen in a very long time.
It was Pattinson’s astonishing funniness, openness, undeniable sweetness and originality on the horrifically gruelling press junkets he undertook — not to mention his iconic turn in Twilight et al –that enabled him to capitalize on the expert way his team have handled his rise.
One hopes Pattinson never loses the qualities that first made people sit up and take notice. Paradoxically, it is the very doubts, fears and ‘humanity’ that all creatives feel, that is the fuel and portal through which they can connect with a role, audience — and indeed themselves. If, as Brosnan advises, Pattinson “keeps his wits about him,” he will follow his own compass, choosing and writing roles with dimension and nuance.
One hears so many women in the industry talk about how limited roles are for female actors, but the same could equally be said for their male counterparts and the fare they are offered. The very different male actor ‘template’ Pattinson embodies has the potential to pack more than 45’s and glib one-liners — simply by bringing the totality of who he is to the moment.
If critics could put the tall poppy scythes down long enough to realize the TS saga does not define Pattinson or Stewart — they would see what the insightful can: The faces at the top of the tree have reshuffled and the determined consumer power of a denigrated demographic has spoken.
Great comment, very objective. I also think Georges Duroy is anti-hero. I love Maupassant`s book, it`s a great reading.